Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Returning to STEM

4.1 Goals as SMART objectives

The acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound) is used in project management in business, but also increasingly in many other fields. This is a useful tool in setting goals because it forces you to be much more precise about what you are aiming for and therefore more likely to achieve your desired outcome. While they are used regularly in a business context, you can apply the following principles to your own action plan:

  • Specific: say exactly what you want to achieve
  • Measurable: how will you know you have achieved it?
  • Achievable: is it feasible – what barriers are there that will need to be overcome?
  • Relevant: how does it relate to the overall goal?
  • Time-bound: when will you do this?

Activity 3 Creating your action plan

Timing: Allow about 45 minutes

This activity will guide you through creating your own action plan.

First, open your Action Plan template [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Next, enter the following details:

  1. description of goal
  2. what it will involve
  3. exactly how you will do this
  4. resources needed
  5. when you are going to do it
  6. in the Notes section you can enter things like the possible consequences for yourself and others, and any barriers that need to be overcome.

You can now go on to create more action points related to specific goals for work, education, and personal life. You might well find that as you start to think creatively in one area of your life, you begin to develop ideas for action in others. Think of this as the start of a process. There is a sample action plan in the Further reading section.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371